[MUD-Dev] MMORPG: where to start for making and running a game

Damion Schubert ubiq at zenofdesign.com
Thu Nov 13 01:30:43 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: Richard Brown

> Now the question: what am I going to do with my rich friend's
> money in the next six month? What should I buy, who should I hire,
> what do I tell them to do, and the most important: what should we
> try to accomplish?

1) Buy some technology.  For the love of god, don't try to reinvent
the wheel.  MMP players are impressed by design far more than
technology.  There are several off the shelf solutions, and one I'd
start off looking at if you have a few hundred thou to spare would
be the BigWorld technology by MicroForte.

2) Hire some help.  The nuances of these games are surprisingly
subtle, and you'll want to avoid the mistakes that everyone else has
made.  Definitely find a tech lead who has done this before,
followed by at least one designer.  Better yet, find two designers
from two different games (most designers, I've found, have a
tendency to design a game influenced too much by the game they
worked on last).

3) Come up with the big idea.  There's a lot of MMPs out there, and
to compete in a crowded marketplace, you'll need to stand out
somehow as unique.  The time commitment of MMPs makes them a place
to live, and as such your place will need its own personality and
purpose.  Shadowbane is the "Play to Crush" world, Star Wars is
"Take a place in the Star Wars Universe", etc.  If you don't find a
niche, you'll be lost in the jetsom.

4) Determine your appetite.  It is possible, with great discipline,
to do an MMP for under $5 million - DAoC and Puzzle Pirates are two
examples of great games that did so.  The big leagues cost more: if
my memory holds, both SWG and the Sims cost more than 3 times that
amount.  So figure out - how big is your vision?

--d
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